Phoenix advances to next phase in 2021 Global Mayors Challenge

Scott Murdoch
Bloomberg Philanthropies/

PHOENIX, AZ — Bloomberg Philanthropies has chosen the City of Phoenix as one of its 50 finalists for the 2021 Global Mayors Challenge, a global innovation competition that identifies and accelerates the most ambitious ideas developed by cities in response to the pandemic.

The first-ever Global Mayors Challenge received applications from more than 630 cities from 99 countries, and 50 urban innovations were chosen to be in the top competitive pool.

The finalists will advance to a four-month Champion Phase of the competition where all 50 will refine their ideas with technical assistance from Bloomberg Philanthropies and its network of leading innovation experts. The grand prize will be awarded to fifteen cities, each receiving $1 million and robust multi-year technical assistance to implement and scale their ideas. Grand Prize Winners will be announced in early 2022.

“These 50 finalists are showing the world that in the face of the pandemic’s enormous challenges, cities are rising to meet them with bold, innovative, and ambitious ideas,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies and 108th mayor of New York City. “By helping these cities test their ideas over the coming months, we will have a chance to identify cutting-edge policies and programs that can allow cities to rebuild in ways that make them stronger and healthier, and more equal and more just.”

As one of the five largest cities in the United States, Phoenix’s city proposed developing a mobile workforce “middle space” to address one of the greatest challenges experienced by job seekers and local employers: connectivity.

“Communities around the world are looking for solutions to connect residents with career opportunities, and Phoenix is proud to be a laboratory for creative, data-driven ideas,” said Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego. “Without a doubt, this challenge will produce solutions that will improve the lives and well-being of people now and in future generations.”

“This is always an especially exciting phase of the Mayors Challenge, helping mayors push their innovations to even greater heights,” said James Anderson, head of Government Innovation at Bloomberg Philanthropies. “While 15 cities will ultimately take home grand prizes, all 50 cities receive world-class coaching and support to improve their ideas and their potential to improve lives.”

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